Reviews by Santosh Shanbhag

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Our World Tour

Our World Tour

A Photographic Journey Around the Earth

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 11, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: To be read over and over again
Although, I have visited a few places that were part of this book and I am an amateur DSLR photographer myself, I just couldn't believe the dedication and patience that the author has had to carefully take each picture and put a matching comment to accompany it. Many a time I was wondering where the author stood or what risks he took to get that perspective. Both the picture and the comments together are delightfully savory food for the mind and spirit. The author has been very kind to mention the technicality on each picture - the critical information that every photographer craves after seeing a shot ("How did you get that? I have the same lens") - ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, and if any manipulation was done using Photoshop or HDR. Although this book might be perceived initially as an advertisement for Sigma, there is not much mention of it except at the beginning and that is fair. Sigma did pay for the tour and equipment and they deserve kudos for sponsoring this trip and having us all enjoy it vicariously. Behind every great photographer is a buddy and Mario Dirks has given due acknowledgement to his wife. This book will take you places. Literally! I am going to enjoy reading it over and over again. Every time, it brings out a new feeling in me. Full Review >

Enterprise Messaging with JMS

Enterprise Messaging with JMS

Advanced Topics and Spring JMS

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 9, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Another classic video from Mark Richards
Mark Richards has done it again! If you have gone through the first series of Enterprise Messaging, this series completes it with Spring JMS and advanced topics related to sending images and documents, restful JMS messaging, high performance messaging, embedding the message broker in your application, etc. Mark's video keeps the reader engaged throughout and the interactive coding sessions are great to practice. Wish I had this 5 years ago! Full Review >

Enterprise Messaging

Enterprise Messaging

JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0 Fundamentals

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 1, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Excellent beyond words!
I enjoyed going through the video tutorial of Mark Richards. His style of teaching is really engaging although it is a recorded video. The entire video is of 5:30 hours and covers 13 different topics in gradual progression. Mark makes no assumptions about the learner and keeps the pace going comfortably. I was able to pause, recollect, and then play again without any issues. In case you missed the bus on messaging and are now struggling to understand what the heck everyone is talking about when they say pub/sub, topics, queues, fire-and-forget, request/reply messaging, sender/receiver, and what to intelligently use when, this series will give you a second chance at your messaging life. It's time to rebound and gain control of your enterprise architecture and talk intelligently with your fellow team-mates. Full Review >

Oracle Database 12C Certified Professional

Oracle Database 12C Certified Professional

SQL Foundations

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 20, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: I wish I had this years ago!
It would have saved me some awkward moments in DB interviews if I had this years ago. Very nice explanation of concepts, good flow, hands-on with minimum slides. Totally practical. Love it! Full Review >

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 15, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: The book for MongoDB!
This is a very organized, detailed, and very easy to learn book. As a developer who had just heard about MongoDB, I was able to get up and running with the first four chapters itself. The next four chapters focuses on indexing, aggregating, collecting, and using MapReduce. This is more than enough to get you into full swing. The rest of the book covers administration, replication, sharding, etc. Whether you are MongoDB developer, administrator, or deployment person, you will find a lot of relevant information for your projects in this book. Full Review >

60 Recipes for Apache CloudStack

60 Recipes for Apache CloudStack

Using the CloudStack Ecosystem

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 2, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Become a master even if you are an advanced user
There were many things I wasn't aware of when I read this book. I am new to Cloudstack and this book helped me learn some new things. I had to rely on other resources as this is not a book for beginners. This book helped me get more productive by using a problem/solution/example approach. Full Review >

OSCON 2014: Complete Video Compilation

OSCON 2014: Complete Video Compilation

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 29, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Mind blowing
If you are looking for something that you have never heard of before, you will find it in this enormous collection. This collection is so huge and so detailed, you probably need to take a sabbatical from work for a couple of months in order to cover it all. Full Review >

Web Development with Node and Express

Web Development with Node and Express

Leveraging the JavaScript Stack

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 3, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Covers Express 4
I used this book on a new project architecture that I was supposed to design. This book clearly explained all that I wanted to know to succeed on my project. Full Review >

Hadoop: The Definitive Guide

Hadoop: The Definitive Guide

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 5, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: This is THE book on Hadoop
When I was assigned to a new Hadoop project, I had just a week to pick up. I knew just the basics concepts of big data and map reduce. This book helped me get up to speed with the rest of the team wherein I was not merely following the conversations but leading some of the discussions as well. My team was impressed with how much I had picked up in such a short time but I have no option but to thank this book for covering almost everything that I needed to know to lead my project. The concepts and examples in the book are really good and I would recommend anyone starting with Hadoop to grab this book. Full Review >

Continuous Enterprise Development in Java

Continuous Enterprise Development in Java

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 15, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Broad coverage of continuous Enterprise Java
Very decent book in coverage of Arquillian testing framework. Chapters on NoSQL, REST, and Security are very enjoyable to read. Full Review >

Software Architecture Fundamentals Part 2

Software Architecture Fundamentals Part 2

Taking a Deeper Dive

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 25, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Become a great software architect
No architecture is a silver bullet. One of the videos explains the trade-offs in choosing different solutions for the same problem. You have to give up something for the greater good. The videos provide coverage on comparing architectures, web services and messaging, SOA architectures, etc. I really enjoyed the video series as this was a much needed thing at this point in my career. Full Review >

Software Architecture Fundamentals Part 1

Software Architecture Fundamentals Part 1

Understanding the Basics

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 24, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Excellence in architecture!
Being an "Architect" means different things to different people. It is a very complex, scary, world. The expectations are boundless. There are all kinds of architects in the IT world and I had a poor understanding of it before I went through this video. I was impressed by the coverage of all aspects and types of architects. Whether it is continuous delivery, tooling, navigating the political landscape, documentation, design patterns, etc - all are covered in great depth. The feeling is refreshing after you finish this series. A good sense of humor from both the architects keeps the interest piqued. Full Review >

Learn to Program with Scratch

Learn to Program with Scratch

A Visual Introduction to Programming with Games, Art, Science, and Math

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 15, 2014 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Excellent way to learn Scratch
This is one of those books that I didn't read but feel confident to review. Let me explain - I let my 9-year old read it instead. My kid was thrilled to receive this book and try out the exercises. It rarely came to me for any explanation except for installation of Scratch and some random troubleshooting. Full Review >

Douglas Crockford JavaScript Master Class

Douglas Crockford JavaScript Master Class

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Oct 8, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Learn from the master!
Having read Douglas Crockford's Javascript articles and blogs, I was naturally inquisitive to try out his JavaScript Master Class. Overall, I found the contents to be very good and relevant today even though this was released in 2009. Of course, some tracks could have been done a little better. For example, the starting video of "History of the language" is 44 minutes. It should have been trimmed to under 10 minutes, in my honest opinion. I would have liked more coverage on the other sections rather than 44 minutes on the history. I finally understood the various inheritance mechanisms in JavaScript thanks to the coverage on pseudo-classical prototypical and functional inheritance. The coverage on the "Theory of the DOM part one and two" provide insights into the complex DOM model and how the browsers render them. There are many snippets throughout the video that are enjoyable thanks to Doug's sense of humor. Overall, a good buy for those that are new to JavaScript. This doesn't qualify as a "Master class" but it is very good nevertheless. Full Review >

Galaxy S4: The Missing Manual

Galaxy S4: The Missing Manual

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 30, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: I didn't know I could do that!
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a beautiful, sophisticated piece of art. Nothing short of amazing. However, to be able to use it like a pro, the manual that ships with the phone is pretty insignificant. You could either discover by talking with fellow S4 owners or look up videos online. This book seeks to put all that information in a simple-to-understand format so you can easily go through it step-by-step. Wow, I didn't know my Galaxy S4 could do that! Many a time, this was my reaction when I read about something that I wasn't aware of. The book has a lot of graphics and screenshots that make it a real pleasure to read and understand. When I got my new S4, I had often wondered what certain options meant and how some apps were used and this book actually covered those topics very well. I actually started using some of the apps, like S Health, after reading this book. Of the many things I learned, I could sync my calendar with Google Calendar and Outlook, start watching movies and TV shows while they are loading, send pictures and videos wirelessly to your TV, etc. Pretty neat book and expansive coverage overall. This book is actually 485 pages but you should be able to skim through it pretty fast. Full Review >

The LEGO Build-It Book, Vol. 1

The LEGO Build-It Book, Vol. 1

Amazing Vehicles

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 26, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: A Kid's dream come true
When I showed the book cover to my 8-year old son, he just couldn't resist the temptation. He kept on asking me to get the book for him which I eventually did. I must say this book has made him happy and engaged. I am glad that the book has a one-pager with a "bill of materials". That allowed me to take a printout with me and my son to the Lego shop "pick a brick" section. If you already have a couple of Lego toys for building cars, you probably don't need to buy the parts at all. Full Review >

AngularJS

AngularJS

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jun 27, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Overall a good book
Although many readers may have been disappointed by the code examples in this book from the outdated Github site, I think overall this is a good book. AngularJS concepts are a bit difficult to comprehend for any beginner but this book does a decent job of easing the reader into it. More advanced readers, especially those who are impatient, may get a bit disappointed at the pace of this book. It takes a completely different mindset, no matter how fluent you are with web application programming, to understand the "Angular Paradigm". It is going to take time to grasp the concepts if you are learning Angular for the first time, no matter how well it is presented. It is certainly not the fault of this book if you get a cultural programming shock. The ideas and examples provided in the later part of the book are very useful and I would be using some of them for my applications. Full Review >

0

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On May 22, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Get certified in HTML5 and CSS3!
This book takes care of a wide range of audience from a beginner to intermediate users at different levels of learning. It is pretty large and comprehensive with exercises and Q&A at the end of each chapter. I recommended this book to some more folks on my team and they found it useful as well. I got my certification with a good score. Full Review >

CSS3: The Missing Manual

CSS3: The Missing Manual

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Mar 14, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Fantastic book for CSS3
This book has been a pleasure to read. CSS3 has brought some great enhancements to the plain old CSS and this book does an excellent job of covering that. This book has 650 pages and that might sound intimidating. However, the language and the flow has been so friendly that you could literally pick something that interests you and get a deep coverage. If you want to learn everything about CSS3, go out and pick this book. You will not regret it. Full Review >

Python for Kids

Python for Kids

A Playful Introduction to Programming

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 4, 2013 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Great for kids!
I highly recommend this book for your 8-12 year olds (or other grownups who have an interest in learning programming). This book makes it dead simple by going over installation, basics of Python, and moving over to interesting things like graphics and building games with animations. Full Review >

HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps

HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 2, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: This book rocks!
Having met with Wesley Hales personally at the recent SAPInsider conference, I was pretty impressed with the quality of his presentation. Naturally I picked up this book as I wanted to learn more and I must say - This book rocks! Today web app development is a convoluted place to be. Wesley Hales demystifies the landscape by explaining what has changed from the traditional client/server model. That is, the browser is the platform!!! The browser has traditionally been a thin interface between the user and the server and that has changed in recent years due to enormous strides in the JavaScript capabilities supported today. Full Review >

JavaScript and HTML5 at OSCON 2012

JavaScript and HTML5 at OSCON 2012

From the Client-Side to the Server Side

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Nov 2, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Just OK
Compared to OSCON 2011, these set of videos are just OK. There is no introductory type videos but most of the videos are just general. The number of videos is lesser too compared to last year. The quality of the videos is great. The presenters are well-respected too. Full Review >

An Introduction to iOS Programming

An Introduction to iOS Programming

From Getting the SDK to Submitting Your First App

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Oct 7, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Better than a book!
This is an insanely great video for those starting out fresh with iOS Programming. iOS programming is much more complex than Android programming due to the large initial setup and licensing agreements. This video makes it easy to understand what exactly needs to be done and when. The author has made it look dead simple. Making absolutely no assumptions whatsoever! I was amazed at the detail oriented coaching that the author has put through with this video. It covers everything from the basics to getting your app prepared for sale on the app store and uploading it to iTunes Connect. This is so much better than reading a book. I was able to play the video side by side on a dual-screen with me trying out stuff in the first screen. It was an enjoyable experience. Full Review >

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! (Covers Version 1.4)

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! (Covers Version 1.4)

Learn to Program By Making Cool Games

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 29, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: What an adventure
Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, Iomega and MIT Media Lab research consortia. I had heard of Scratch before but I didn't know what age group of kids it targetted. I assumed it was for teenagers that had an interest in computing but weren't interested in developing heavy-weight enterprise level projects. Since my kids are not teenagers yet, I put Scratch on the backburner. I was wrong!!! This book made me rethink the target userbase for Scratch as anyone 8 and above (although 7-years olds will do well too!). Each page in the book is very colorful and full of graphics which makes it a pleasure to read for kids as well as adults (me!). I thoroughly enjoyed reading each page as I felt like a little boy out on an adventure. Once I did completed this book, I got my kid started and enjoyed his feelings and thoughts on Scratch. He hasn't completed the book yet but I know he will go slow and steady on it.. probably reading a chapter a week. This is his third week and he is on chapter 3 and he hasn't put the book down yet. I don't think he will! Full Review >

What's New in CSS3

What's New in CSS3

Essential Information for Developers

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Sep 7, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Very brief overview
If you are a serious HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript developer, chances are you have heard of Estelle Weyl, seen her presenting at OSCON and other conferences, or bookmarked her standardista.com website. Estelle Weyl is a very popular speaker and author so I was naturally excited to get this book. For the most part it is good stuff. This book is a very very brief overview of what's happening in the CSS3 world of specs and recommendations. Most of the chapters are extremely small. For example, Chapter 10 and 11 are just one paragraph each. Chapter 9 is just two pages. The writing is of high quality just like the author. However, I am slightly disappointed by the total lack of any depth in the book. It would easily have been an article on the web or just a blog. The actual book content (excluding TOC, Preface, etc) is about 25 pages. If you remove the last pages of the chapters that are just a paragraph long, it's even lesser. In short, I absolutely love the author and am a huge fan of her presentations on OSCON and other conferences. This book falls short of my expectations, not in the quality of the content but in the lack thereof. Full Review >

WebGL: Up and Running

WebGL: Up and Running

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 6, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: A new dimension to learn
This book makes it easy to learn WebGL. Although not targetted for advanced users, it made it easy for me to understand WebGL and the three.js library. Honestly, I haven't worked in 3D so most of the concepts were pretty new to me. This book cleared some of the concepts and didn't overwhelm me with complexity. Tony Parisi has definitely taken care to keep it simple and useful. There isn't much coverage on how WebGL works natively and I probably don't need to learn that. What I got out of this book are concepts and more depth on three.js and for a beginner, that's more than enough. Full Review >

Head First HTML and CSS

Head First HTML and CSS

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 22, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: The book is back!
There are two kinds of people in this world - those who know Elisabeth Robson and Eric Freeman and those who don't. If you have read any of the "Head First" series of books, you would know why the web developers love these guys. "Head First HTML, CSS, and XHTML" was a super-hit when it launched and most of us, including me, had great pleasure reading it. The book is back with a refresh and with a couple of new chapters on HTML5 and also loss of a chapter on XHTML. If you are a fan of the "Head First" series, then this is the book to get on HTML and CSS before you venture out to "Head First HTML5". Since I had read the first edition, it was great to quickly skim through this book and stop occasionally to read some new material. My only disappointment was that there was no in-depth coverage of CSS3 but overall this book is worth it. I do hope the authors come up with a "Head First CSS3" book in the future. I would be the first to buy it. Full Review >

Windows PowerShell for Developers

Windows PowerShell for Developers

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 22, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Get the power - for any developer!
To be honest with you, I had just a slight idea what Windows PowerShell was. I had never used it before but I had heard of it being a scripting language for .NET and the Windows Platform. Similar to what BeanShell provides for Java. There is a lack of resources on Powershell that explains the power you can unleash for automation, testing, repititive tasks,etc. This book explains the concepts step by step so that not just the pros but also regular developers can take a shot at using it without fear. Full Review >

Velocity Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

Velocity Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 18, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Make your apps perform
The Velocity Conference motto is "Building a Faster and Strong Web". As such, the conference is focused on Web Performance and Operations. This conference is targetted for web professionals from companies of all sizes. I happen to be one of those web professionals. Unfortunately, this year I couldn't go. Or so I thought until I got access to this video compilation of all sessions! I am happy again. The whole gamut of web performance has been covered in this video sessions. All the sessions are pretty good so I am unable to say "this one was better than that one". Also, I haven't watched all the videos since it covers whole 3 days. I do make it a point to watch in my infinite spare time and I learn something new each time. Regardless, these videos are making me smarter and standing out at my work place. It's been incredible. I strongly recommend this compilation to anyone wanting to make a difference in their app Full Review >

Mobile JavaScript Application Development

Mobile JavaScript Application Development

Bringing Web Programming to Mobile Devices

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 1, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Makes it easy to decide which framework to pick
This is an excellent book that focuses on using Javascript (and only Javascript with HTML and CSS) for mobile application development. The author introduces HTML5 in chapter 1 which is a must for developing using Javascript on the mobile devices. He also introduces the Modernizer library to test for HTML5 features for cross-browser compatibility. Snippets of code that introduce the reader to Geolocation, Orientation, Device motion, Network connectivity, Canvas, Client-side storage, etc, set the base for the future chapters. Chapter 2 is a quick introduction on using Javascript productively by avoiding common pitfalls. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 provide a detailed coverage on jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, and PhoneGap. These are the leading frameworks for Javascript Mobile development. Chapter 6 completes the gap by going over debugging and testing using Jasmine and Siesta and other tools, like Adobe Shadow and iWebInspector. Chapter 7 concludes by providing a comparison of various frameworks and when to use what. Overall, this book is very pleasant to read and is really geared towards folks evaluating different JavaScript mobile frameworks and didn't know where to start. This book will make it easy for you to decide what's suitable for your application. Full Review >

Fluent Conference: JavaScript & Beyond Complete Video Compilation

Fluent Conference: JavaScript & Beyond Complete Video Compilation

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jul 19, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Second chance if you missed the conference
I think this is the first time that O'Reilly has held a JavaScript & Beyond conference totally focused on JavaScript based technologies. The video compilation is an excellent collection of presentations from the stalwarts who have defined and shaped the JavaScript industry. If you can make time for 54 hours or even half of that, you would come out technically stronger and make an impressive impact at your workplace. I was amazed at some of the presenters' in-depth knowledge and command of the technology while appreciating the simplicity in presenting the concepts. I have watched about half of this compilation and I am going to watch the other half including keynotes. I have already started making an impact at work with the knowledge gained from these videos. I feel more empowered to talk about concepts at work since they are now clear. If you missed attending the conference in person, this is the next best thing and there is no doubt about it. It's totally worth the money even if you watch half of the videos. Full Review >

Web Design Bibliography

Web Design Bibliography

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 4, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: A good compilation!
This is a good compilation of web design related categories. The categories are classified into - Web design fundamentals, Planning, Web Coding, Web Design Toolkit, Usability, Imagery and Illustration, Advanced Graphic Design, Design Lifestyle and Business, Mobile Design, and Content Management Systems. This book provides a handy reference to all currently available books on Safari pertaining to a particular category. Safari online links are provided for each item. My only disappointment is that all of the items listed in this book are Safari online items. There are no references to anything outside of Safari like blogs, web articles, etc. This makes the book appear more like a Safari catalog than a bibliography. Full Review >

The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra

The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 29, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Fresh air guide to linear algebra
To be honest I haven't touched Linear Algebra for 20+ years. I had a gruelling time in high school just trying to keep up with an insane syllabus that I didn't have the time to really understand the purpose of Linear Algebra in real life. To make it worse, my professors didn't bother to explain either as they had a lot of topics to cover in very little time. So it was all mechanical learning trying to solve problems and proofs without understanding why. I always had this feeling in me that my learning of linear algebra was incomplete in spite of scoring well in Math. So 20 years later I picked up this book out of sheer curiosity whether my learning could be completed. I must say I am very impressed with the approach of this book. The author has made learning delightful using a comic format with two kids - one a math wiz trying to explain it to the other who is struggling. At a steady pace, the book covers a lot of the basic concepts of linear algebra like vectors, matrices, Gaussian elimination, subspaces, dimension, and linear span. The author makes it interesting by explain how they apply in computer graphics, cryptography, and engineering. I finished reading the entire book in 3 hours! It all just came back to me after 20+ years! Thanks to this book, I am glad that my kids will not be struggling to understand math when they go to high school. Albert Einstein said, "You have really learned something if you can explain it to your grandmother". I can confidently say I have learned the concepts of Linear Algebra thanks to this book and I can teach it to my grandmother (if she is willing to learn!). Full Review >

Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1

Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jun 25, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Better than the spec!
I was not a big fan of EJBs as the previous versions of the spec left me baffled and frustrated. I kept away from learning EJBs as not one at my work place seemed to care about them either. With EJB 3.1 there has been a renewed interest on this topic and so I started reading "Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1, 6th Edition - O'Reilly". I think the authors have done a good job starting with the basics in the first section of the book explaining what the purpose of EJBs are and how the container takes care of providing services so we can focus on writing the business logic instead of re-writing plumbing and cross-cutting code. Section two of the book provides chapters of the book provide a coverage on the various types of beans with practical examples on when each is suitable to use. I really enjoyed this section of the book as I could relate it with my daily life as a programmer. Section three and four focus on Entity beans and Container services but I read them lightly as I don't have much interest in going too deep into those. Section five of the book wraps up with lots of practical examples (like recipes) on each bean type. I enjoyed reading this section of the book as well. Overall, I think this book is much better than reading the EJB 3.1 spec online and the authors have done a great job in bringing the spec to life with practical examples and simplified language. Full Review >

Node: Up and Running

Node: Up and Running

Scalable Server-Side Code with JavaScript

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 11, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: No kidding about Node
If you have heard of Node (which true web developer hasn't!) but haven't had the courage to get your feet wet, Node: Up and Running (O'Reilly) is the book to get. In a true "up and running" style, this book assumes zero knowledge of Node, other than a familiarity with JavaScript. This book is well-written with lots of example code snippets generously thrown inside the book. Full Review >

Just Spring Integration

Just Spring Integration

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On May 13, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Another great book by Madhusudhan
This is a concise, well-thoughtout book, with absolutely no fluff. Madhusudhan has done a great job of simplifying the landscape of Spring Integration into seven useful chapters. The first two chapters lay the groundwork of spring integration covering how and why spring makes business-2-business and application-2-application integration simple. I always thought spring integration was complex until I read this book. Chapters 3 and 4 cover message channels and endpoints in more depth. No discussion of spring integration is complete without discussion how to transform data from one format to another and that is covered in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 covers flow components and Chapter 7 finishes the book with a coverage of the various adapters like file, FTP, JMS, and JDBC. Overall, I must applaud the author for keeping it simple and to the point and not using any fluff or unnecessary words to fill pages in the book. I really enjoy this style of writing as it helps me keep the focus and also use this book as a ready reference in case of emergency. Full Review >

Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

The Business of Data

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 16, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Priceless collection
This is an excellent video compilation by all measurable standards. I had absolutely just a little idea was Hadoop was and very little knowledge about the challenges facing today's world in "Big Data" terms that traditional databases (SQL!) were not able to meet. I absolutely loved watching all of the Hadoop videos. I admit I was totally biased towards Hadoop as that is the next big thing at my work place and everyone wants to jump in. This video series has made me quite competent and confident in speaking about Hadoop, discussing ideas with my superior and peers, and earning tremendous respect with other virtual teams at my work place. I didn't miss being at the conference at all. This video takes you right there. Anyway, I wouldn't have had the time to be at all the sessions unless I cloned myself. This entire compilation let's me watch videos on my time. I will be watching videos on the other topics like Geo Data visualization, Apache Cassandra, etc, when I am a little bit over the Hadoop fever. This is a priceless collection! Full Review >

20 Recipes for Programming PhoneGap

20 Recipes for Programming PhoneGap

Cross-Platform Mobile Development for Android and iPhone

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 11, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Get cooking with PhoneGap
This is a small, concise book of about 76 pages containing a variety of recipes using PhoneGap to build device agnostic applications using GPS location, maps, media, accelerometers, and much more. This book assumes you already know the basics of PhoneGap and will point you to the "Getting Started" link if you are not already familiar with using PhoneGap. You will also need to download jQuery and jQuery mobile library and setup your system before trying any of the recipes. It's not that difficult though and you should be doing that before picking this recipe book. Each of the 20 recipe provides a systematic Problem/Solution/Discussion/Code format. From simple recipes to detect if the device is ready, detecting network status changes, retrieving device information, the book advances to more complicated recipes like using the GPS and displaying a position on a map, using the compass for navigation, using the accelerometer, etc. It also has recipes on saving data to a remote server, capturing audio and video, and extending PhoneGap with plug-ins. The nice thing about this book is that it is easy to read and recipes can be quickly tried out. I finished reading this book in about an hour. It has found a place in my reference shelf to reach out to when needed. Full Review >

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

UI Patterns for Mobile Applications

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Apr 6, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: One of a kind book for Mobile UI
Mobile apps have become quite the rage. Forget about consumer apps, these days even enterprise IT teams have been asked to develop corporate apps for the tablet. I was quite surprised myself when my project lead took me aside the other day and asked me, "When can we have a lite version of our web app on the iPad?". A lite version! I had no idea what that meant or where to begin. For sure I knew that the web app that looks super cool on the desktop would look like a disaster on the tablet. Think Mobile First! Who does that? Certainly not me. Old UI habits die hard. However, as Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." I knew I had to start with my screens. Unfortunately my years of knowledge of desktop browser UI designing was of not much use. I can throw a hundred UI components in the desktop browser and it will just work. Mobile UI design is a totally different ball game. So I got this book! Full Review >

jQuery Mobile: Up and Running

jQuery Mobile: Up and Running

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Mar 13, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Finally a book on jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile has taken the world of mobile development by storm. With an incredible fully enhanced A-grade AJAX support for all the major platforms and desktop browsers, it has become a viable choice to start coding mobile applications quickly compared to the step learning curve for native development. Not only that, you can also deploy your jQuery mobile webapp natively to many mobile devices using the phenomenal PhoneGap. This book will teach you how. Full Review >

The Little Book on CoffeeScript

The Little Book on CoffeeScript

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Feb 19, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Sweet little book
Whether you love it or hate it, JavaScript is back with a louder than ever bang, thanks largely to HTML5. However, frameworks like JQuery provide concise syntax that eliminates the need to write buggy and verbose code. So why CoffeeScript? Curiosity led me to pick up this "little book". It turns out that CoffeeScript is a language that compiles down to JavaScript with a syntax inspired by Ruby and Python. In a little book of 6 chapters and 48 pages, Alex MacCaw cuts to the chase and explains the nuts and bolts of CoffeeScript neatly. Full Review >

Beginning PhoneGap

Beginning PhoneGap

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 15, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: PhoneGap quickly
There are two times PhoneGap made big waves in the mobile developer community. The first time was when the first PhoneGap code was authored at the San Francisco iPhoneDevCamp in August 2008. The second time was at the Adobe MAX in October 2011 when Adobe announced that it had bought Nitobi, the maker of PhoneGap. PhoneGap is an amazing technology that lets you unleash mobile applications to 7 platforms using the same code base. It makes the "write once, deploy anywhere" aspiration come true. Beginning PhoneGap by Thomas Myer is an excellent book to get started with PhoneGap. Full Review >

Software Change Management: Case Studies and Practical Advice

Software Change Management: Case Studies and Practical Advice

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 11, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: For the fearless agents of change!
Unlike other books on Software Change Management, Donald Reifer brings a fresh new perspective dedicated to the fearless few and brave agents of change. Introducing or changing software processes is not for the faint of heart but Donald bring his decades of mastery in this field into a dozen chapters with 10 real-life scenarios. The nice thing about this book is that it explains how to introduce change by using sensible and politically sound tactics. Indeed some change agents fail miserably because even though their intent was good, their expressions might come across as combative and without senior management buy-in. Full Review >

Arduino Cookbook

Arduino Cookbook

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 31, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Become an Arduino master!
This book assumes no previous knowledge on the part of the reader. Indeed you must have some basic understanding of electronics but just enough to be able to connect the Arduino board to your PC and also install and run the IDE software. If you know just that much, this book will take you to the next level. The information on Arduino is so scattered on the Arduino website and other sites, this book will provide the basis for a strong foundation for you. I like the style of cookbooks in general as "problem statements" and "solutions" are presented together followed by a "discussion" paragraph. Full Review >

Head First Mobile Web

Head First Mobile Web

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 18, 2012 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Exceptional way to learn!
The Head-First Mobile book is an exceptional book. The mobile development space is obfuscated by the variety of technologies, devices, screen sizes, and so on. This book dispels the complexity and puts everything in perspective. For example, it talks about responsive web design in which you can adjust the formatting of your content dynamically depending on the device that is asking for the content, all done using the same HTML and CSS file. Full Review >

Head First HTML5 Programming

Head First HTML5 Programming

Building Web Apps with JavaScript

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 28, 2011 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Have fun while you learn
By now I have read (or attempted to read) at least 3-4 books on HTML5. I have attended a few webinars by popular speakers as well. However, I have always found myself lost in the details as most books start with a lot of fluff on the history of the web, how it came to be, etc, etc. By the time I was done with the first couple of chapters, I was yearning for the actual stuff and lost interest. Enter the Head First book to my rescue. Finally here is a book that explains visually about HTML5 and makes it a lot of fun actually while learning it. The authors have done a lot of work in the visuals, the humor, and constant reinforcing of concepts via quizzes, Q&A, etc. In short, I just love this book! Full Review >

Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft Outlook to Organize Your Work and Personal Life: Rough Cuts Version

Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft Outlook to Organize Your Work and Personal Life: Rough Cuts Version

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Nov 13, 2011 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Save time, read this book
have read several book on time management in the past decade. In today's world of "do more with less", it becomes extremely critical to prioritize, delegate, and complete your tasks and avoid risking being a holdup to organizational productivity. Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneNote are great tools and are ubiquitous in the corporate environment. This book teaches not only how to use Outlook and OneNote to manage time but also how to use them to actually get things done and conduct effective meetings. Full Review >

Getting Started with Arduino

Getting Started with Arduino

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 25, 2011 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Love Arduino after reading this book!
There are basically three kinds of people in this world - ones who know what Arduino is, ones who don't, and ones who find Arduino interesting but don't know where to start. This book is written for the people in the third category. This includes me. Full Review >

Developing iOS Applications with Flex 4.5

Developing iOS Applications with Flex 4.5

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 15, 2011 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Doesn't get any simpler than this
With iOS recently supporting deployment of Flex-based applications, it has increased the number of compelling reasons to do the same. Let's face it, Objective-C is hard to learn if you are a seasoned Java/Flex developer like me. There are countless tutorials on the web for mobile development using Flex for Android and iOS. This book is one of a kind in the sense that it provides a neat step-by-step way of mastering the fundamentals of developing a nice iOS application with Flex. This book stands out in the number of screenshots - there is virtually one on every page. The author has take great pains to explain each concept systematically. Chapter 1 starts off with the typical "Hello World" program which ends with simplifying the complex technique of importing the Apple key so you can develop and debug your precious iOS application. Chapter 2 talks about the different application layouts. Progressively the author goes on to talk about configuration settings, APIs, File System, interacting with the OS, and designing for iOS. The last chapter elaborates the process of publishing your spectacular iOS application to the App Store. In my opinion, no book has made it as easy as this. The author has provided all the sample codes in a zip file on a website so you can save precious time typing out the code. Full Review >

JavaScript Web Applications

JavaScript Web Applications

Santosh's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Sep 11, 2011 Santosh Shanbhag wrote: Enjoyable book
Being a Java Swing developer for many years, I was never a fan of JavaScript. There were no mature tools and frameworks a few years ago. Straight DOM programming was just error-prone and difficult to debug. Over the last few years, JavaScript has come back with a big bang, thanks to a lot of companies, among them, Google. This book is for people, like me, who gave up on JavaScript years ago because of a poor model but need to know new frameworks that help in writing concise, readable code, and also help design scalable and robust architecture, not to mention, using JavaScript with a large team that could be geographically spread out. Full Review >

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